Remember when I was going on and on about making those salmon cakes? I was having a really hard time flipping those suckers in the pan. All I have is a silicone flipper that is just a bit too thick to allow for easy turning. I ended up crushing the side of the salmon cake while trying to get the flipper underneath it.
And then I saw the chefs using a fish spatula on Hell’s Kitchen.
Aside: Yes, I watch Hell’s Kitchen. I am fully aware that Gordon Ramsay looks like a total jerk on that show, and that he seems to be on a power trip to rip out the souls of the chefs in the competition. But I first started watching Ramsay on shows broadcast by BBC America, things like Kitchen Nightmares and The F Word. When you watch those shows, especially The F Word, you see that his persona on Hell’s Kitchen is nothing more than a ploy to pull in more ratings. Sadly enough, Americans love to see people behaving badly, which is why Hell’s Kitchen does so well. That, and the people they choose to be on the show seem to be stuck on high-school level drama. Why do I watch it?? Actually, I love watching Ramsay’s tics. The way he grabs the sides of his whites when he’s talking, the way he pops up on his toes and slams back onto his heels… It amuses me highly. He doesn’t get agitated enough to showcase his tics on his other shows.
Back to the fish spatula.
Do you know how hard it is to find a fish spatula on this island? It shouldn’t be this hard, it really shouldn’t be. I started at Wal-Mart, though I knew not to hold my breath. Then I went to Target. Next it was Bed, Bath & Beyond — and shockingly enough, on their Wall of Utensils that’s probably 30 feet long and at least that tall, there was not one single fish spatula.
Well, there was. But it was this goofy silicone-covered metal flimsy thing that I did not want. I wanted a traditional metal fish spatula.
Why was it so hard?
One thing I seriously bemoan in this state with the longest name in the entire country is the lack of a decent kitchen store. When I lived in Washington state, we had a store called That Kitchen Shop (original, no?) that sold almost everything you could possibly want, from cookware to bakeware to knives to kitchen gadgets to small electrics. I used to go in there just to browse, and I’d end up spending a good chunk of time in there. When we moved here, I immediately tried to see if we had such a store, and alas, we do not.
Just like we don’t have Arby’s or Sonic or Chick-Fil-A or Cost Plus World Market. I guess when you grow up in Rhode Island you don’t miss these things, but it’s quite a shock to us non-natives.
There is a store down in historic Wickford that sells some kitchen stuff, but it seems to concentrate more on kitchen linens than anything else. I want professional half-sheet pans to bake cookies and to roast potatoes, not the non-stick kind, and that store just doesn’t sell them, or much of anything, really. It’s cute to poke around in, though.
I turned to the internet, as I always do — and there before me on my laptop screen was the Holy Grail. And even better, it could be found (somewhat) locally so I could save on shipping!
It was off to Providence for us, to the Williams-Sonoma where I found a fish spatula very similar to the one pictured above, except with a brown handle. I’ve used it several times, and let me tell you, it makes such a difference when dealing with my salmon cakes or any other fish. Kurt used it tonight while making baked salmon with good results.
All that work — just for a simple kitchen utensil! Mission accomplished.